As they hold strong that they are comfortable moving forward with Tejada, the team agreed to a one-year deal with him on Wednesday night to avoid arbitration.
Jon Heyman of CBS reported the deal:
SS ruben tejada agrees with mets for ’14 at $1.1M, avoiding arbitration
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 16, 2014
This at least covers the team’s bases in the event that they do not end up signing Drew. At only $1.1 million, it certainly does nothing to prevent them from pursuing Drew if they so choose.
It will be interesting to see if the Mets change their tune between now and Spring Training. In recent weeks it has appeared that any connections between Drew and the Mets were the result of information provided by Scott Boras or simply the musings of writers and analysts who see a fit.
The Mets might simply be playing it coy by pretending they don’t notice Drew and insisting Tejada is their guy. As far as leverage goes, that would make sense. It starts to feel a bit like the tactics of a playground romance, though: if they are going to end up together, both sides will have to admit that they were interested all along.